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    Tuesday, March 29, 2016

    355,000 Rubber Smallholders Will Benefit From The Temporary Suspension Of Rubber Cess

    KUALA LUMPUR, March 28 (Bernama) Some 355,000 rubber smallholders will benefit from the temporary suspension of rubber cess collection effective April 1 until rubber prices are in stable condition.

    Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the suspension decision was made following the commodity prices instability that had led to the decline in rubber prices and affected the income of smallholders.

    "The suspension of RM0.14 cent per kilogramme (kg) of cess collection
    imposed previously is expected to help increase the income of rubber
    smallholders between RM38 and RM50 per month.

    "The government has agreed to defer the collection of cess on smallholders until the rubber prices can be raised to RM5.50 per kg for the SMR (Standard Malaysian Price)," he said after chairing the ministry-level cabinet committee meeting on ways to help rubber smallholders earn higher income here today.

    The meeting, which was first held this year discussed in detail the
    implementation mechanism with relevant agencies, such as the Malaysian Rubber Board, the Rubber Industry Smallholders Development Authority (RISDA), the Customs Department and the state government of Sabah and Sarawak.

    Ismail Sabri said the ministry had also agreed to collaborate with other
    ministries, especially the Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry, so that
    smallholders did not depend solely on the commodities.

    "Based on our planning, their (smallholders) income can be increased to between RM500 and RM1,000 per month.

    "We (the ministry) have drawn up various programmes such as to carry out short-term agricultural activities, livestock breeding and venture into the
    fisheries sector to increase their income," he said.

    Besides that, he said the ministry had also agreed to establish a joint
    memorandum with the Plantation Industries and Commodities Ministry in order to draw up several other incentives that would be brought before the Cabinet in mid-April.

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